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Only Mostly Devastated: A Novel av Sophie…

Only Mostly Devastated: A Novel (utgåvan 2020)

av Sophie Gonzales (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
1205173,391 (3.98)Ingen/inga
Titel:Only Mostly Devastated: A Novel
Författare:Sophie Gonzales (Författare)
Info:Wednesday Books (2020), 288 pages
Samlingar:Recently added


Only Mostly Devastated av Sophie Gonzales



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Visar 5 av 5
I was immediately here for a queer Grease retelling and this didn't disappoint. I definitely loved seeing the parallels and call backs to the original film. But the thing that really drew me into this book was the discussion that runs throughout it about what a healthy relationship looks like. Anyone who's seen Grease probably knows that Sandy and Danny's relationship is pretty unhealthy; Danny especially pulls a lot of bullshit that hurts Sandy a lot. And that dynamic is recreated here with the caveat that Ollie and Will both realize eventually that this isn't a healthy relationship dynamic and that if they want a relationship to work they need to communicate better and be more open with each other about what they want and need from each other. It was just so refreshing to see a book really talk about how we can hurt other people, whether we meant to or not and what we need to do to address our mistakes. That's just such an important lesson for teenagers especially who are just starting to have romantic relationships to learn and I'm so happy that a book like this is available. I want everyone to pick it up and really think about how they act in their relationships, both romantic and platonic.

I will add a warning that a major subplot deals with cancer and grief so be careful if that's triggering for you. ( )
1 rösta irasobrietate | Aug 31, 2020 |
Despite my summary, there’s a lot more going on in this book than a romance or even a twist on Grease. Ollie’s dealing with his life being uprooted for his aunt’s cancer, there’s some pretty serious treatment of experiencing homophobia and negotiating a long-term relationship, plus Ollie’s not the only queer kid going through stuff, one of his new friends is an aspiring plus-size model…. And yet this doesn’t get depressing or feel that much like an issue novel. It’s pretty solid YA renaissance—good story, lots going on, diverse.

I don’t read a lot of YA, admittedly, but I feel like there’s a lot of rep here that I haven’t seen before. Gay Latino jock, the aforementioned model, a girl who’s torn between her boyfriend and a straight girl, a super bubbly Black girl, and Ollie himself. Not for any sort of diversity stuff, but because he’s a genuinely good guy who pitches in during family crises and is great with kids. I feel like a lot of other YA guys would whine or check out or make things other people’s problems.

The romance plot is nicely handled, which I imagine has to be hard to do when one of the leads, Will, isn’t out and both Will and Ollie have complicated feelings around that to sort out. There are lots of sweet moments to balance out the harder discussions, and I liked that Ollie especially wasn’t stuck figuring things out on his own. His friends and family have his back.

And the rest of it? The high school parts are pretty high school, in a lighthearted but realistic way. I loved seeing Ollie’s relationships with people develop over the year, as well as the themes of acceptance and mutual support that Gonzales has going on. The non-school parts are sadder because, well, cancer, and the author’s commitment to taking that seriously. I’ve read cancer plots before and I think this is the deepest? It goes into a lot of aspects, anyway.

But for everything this book does well, it’s also not one that really struck me or that I found all that memorable. There’s nothing wrong with it, I enjoyed reading it, it just didn’t have that zip. So: recommending if you want some diverse YA goodness, didn’t love it.

Contains: Cancer. Bi- and homophobia. Fat shaming. ( )
  NinjaMuse | Jul 26, 2020 |
This book is:

A) - Extremely enjoyable
B) - Really cheesy
C) - Frustratingly angsty
D) - Utterly hilarious
E) - Really gay
F) - All of the above

I can already tell some people are going to hate this book. And I can also tell a lot of people are going to love it.

Here's the thing: this book is cheesy af, has some pretty extreme second hand embarrassment, and I'm fairly certain these characters have never heard of the concept of communicating their feelings. By all logic, this book should have annoyed me. My initial reaction when I finished the book was:
"Sometimes you read a book, and you go 'wow this book has a bunch of tropes that I hate and it doesn't do them in any way out of the ordinary and I can just tell some people are going to hate this book but yet somehow I love it anyways'?
Yeah that was this book"

And I'd say that remains 100% accurate.

I already pretty much covered what I didn't like about this book (COMMUNICATION. IS IMPORTANT.), but I also want to touch on a few things that I personally thought were handled well, but think might be slightly controversial, before we dive into what I loved.

One of the main conflicts in the book is that Will pretty much refuses to even be seen talking to Ollie because he's terrified of people realizing he's queer, and Ollie is, well, not a huge fan of Will avoiding him. Personally I thought it was handled with sensitivity. Ollie is mad that Will is being a dick, not that Will isn't ready to be out. That said, there were certainly points in this book where I was dubious of the direction it was taking. I want to clarify, I don't think it did take that direction, and I don't think Will was in any way shamed for being closeted, but I think some people will disagree, and it's good to go into this with some level of awareness.

Now enough of that, onto what I loved about this book.

First and foremost what made this book really stand out to me was the voice. This book is written in a very snarky, sarcastic tone, and it was absolutely delightful. I found myself laughing out loud constantly while reading this book.

I also absolutely adored the characters. Ollie was so charming and precious and I just absolutely adore him. Will was a dickhead on more than a few occasions, but I also found myself completely in love with this soft boy.

The side characters also all had so much life. This was a very well fleshed out cast of characters, with flaws and nuances in every single character we meet. Also I just want to appreciate how freaking CUTE Ollie's cousins are!!

I also absolutely love the relationships in this book. From romance to friendship to familial relationships, we had so many messy but beautiful relationships, and it warms my heart.

TWs: homophobia and internalized homophobia, biphobia, fatphobia (all challenged), cancer, and death of a relative

I received an arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  irisssssssss | Jun 17, 2020 |
Oddly enough, I somehow managed not to read that this was inspired by Grease until I was finished the book! I picked up on it for certain! There were some scenes in the story that reminded me of the movie immediately. And let's face it, that's not a bad comparison. The Story of Grease is pretty much engrained in some generations. Time for this story to belong to a new generation!

In this novel, Ollie has fallen in love over the summer break. He's met the guy of his dreams... even though he probably didn't realize that. He met Will at the summer house at the lake They were immediately drawn together and could hardly tear themselves apart at the end of the summer.

As reality slams back down onto Ollie, he is told by his par3ents that theif family is needed near his Aunt who is battling cancer. he'll be moving... awaing from his friends, his school, his band... but closer to Will. The problem? Since Ollie and Will parted ways at the end of the summer, Will has gone radio silent. No texts, no calls... nothing.

When Ollie starts at his new school, he discovers that Will is a student there. The problem is that this Will isn't at all like the Will that he fell for over the summer. Will is a sports jock, laughs at gay jokes and basically ignores Ollie.

Let's break this down a bit. Will is one person when he's away from the pressure of school and family... he's another when he meets up with Ollie again. He's in a difficult world. As a jock and coming from a family where machismo is at a peak... Will feels trapped. How do you come out to a family and friends who equate being gay or bisexual with not being "manly enough"?

This story probably depicts the reality of life for some people when they find themselves stuck between who they are and who they want to be. We all struggle with that a bit when we are in our teens and Will and Ollie are no exception.

One of the things I really appreciated is that Gonzales gently explores both sides of the issue of coming out. Yes, it's important to be who you are if you're going to have any kind of emotional attachment to someone else. It's equally important to come out when you're ready, under your own terms and in a safe way. Gonzales takes care to demonstrate that "outting" is never a good thing... although it can happen unintentionally. I felt like the story was well-rounded... presenting both sides of a relationship that has a lot of challenges to surmount.

In addition to being about coming out and falling for someone... there's a difficult subplot in that Ollie's Aunt is dying of cancer. I lost my Mum to cancer a few years ago and the storyline read as authentic to me. I found it really emotional, bringing me to tears more than once.

This is a great YA novel about summer love and what becomes of it, coming out, allowing people the space to make their own choices, and figuring out how to truly support a friend. It's beautiful, fun and emotional all at the same time. Really enjoyed it. ( )
  KinzieThings | Jun 16, 2020 |
This was super cute and a lot of fun. ( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
Visar 5 av 5
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